Foundation of a Free and Prosperous Life of The Nation
On December 7, a ceremonial meeting dedicated to the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the country's Constitution was held at the «Uzbekistan» Palace of International Forums. State and public figures, representatives of science, culture, art, sports and the general public, embassies of foreign countries and representation offices of international organizations took part in it.
The festive event was addressed by the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He stressed that twentyfive years - for history only a moment. In this short period of time, Uzbekistan has established itself as an independent and sovereign state, has taken a worthy place in the world community, has passed a truly huge path of development.
It is quite natural that all the successes achieved on this uneasy and at the same time glorious way, we, first of all, are connected with our Constitution. After all, the Basic Law enshrined the guarantees of national independence, which our people, human rights and freedoms dreamed of for many years, and the path of development we have chosen.
On the basis of our Constitution, the national legislative system, state bodies, and institutions of the country's civil society have been formed. At present, large-scale reforms are being implemented in all spheres. The socio-economic, political and defense potential of the state is constantly growing, the worldview of our citizens is expanding. All this is a direct result of the implementation of the Basic Law of the country, which has lifeaffirming power.
At the same time, we are well aware that we are facing important tasks in order to fully implement the requirements of our Constitution. We still have a lot to do to further improve the level and quality of life of our people, the real maintenance of human rights and interests. Not in the future, but today our compatriots should, through the example of their lives, see and feel the results of the reforms.
With this in mind, the head of state noted, we adopted the Strategy of Actions on the five priority development directions of the Republic of Uzbekistan in
2017-2021. This document in its essence has become a «road map» of systemic reforms in all spheres of life of our society.
Within the framework of implementation of the Strategy of Actions, more than
20 laws and over 700 by-laws were adopted this year alone. And we will continue this work in the future.
In 2017, announced in the country by the Year of Dialogue with the People and Human Interests, significant work was done to implement the motto «Human interests is above all», proclaimed by us. This work has become another important step in the implementation of the key principles of our Constitution.
In the Address of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, which will soon be presented for the first time to the chambers of the Oliy Majlis, a detailed analysis of the results of the current year will be made and the name of the new year will be announced. We will name the upcoming year taking into account the wishes and interests of our people, Shavkat Mirziyoyev stressed.
As it is known, this year a fundamentally new institution was created in the system of state power - the Virtual Reception of the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, and on the ground - the People's Reception. These structures have become an effective system of interaction of public authorities and management at all levels with citizens, addressing the most pressing problems of the population.
The role and importance of the representative bodies of power elected by the people - the parliament, the Kengashes of people's deputies in the socio-political life of our country - have radically changed. The powers of the Oliy Majlis, political parties have been gradually expanded; the institutions of parliamentary and public control are being strengthened.
From now on, in the city of Tashkent, the Kengashes of People's Deputies will act at the district level. Until now, there were no such structures in the capital's districts. Having restored justice, we have made corresponding changes in the Constitution of the country. Residents of Tashkent now also had the opportunity through their representatives - deputies to participate in the management of the districts of the city.
In the past period, consistent work has also been carried out to democratize the executive branch. The range of tasks and powers of the government has been expanded, its responsibility has been increased, and accountability to the parliament has been strengthened. This became a practical embodiment of the fundamental principle enshrined in Article 7 of the Constitution: «The people are the only source of state power».
We attach special importance to radical reforms in the judicial and legal sphere, because the practical results are directly linked to ensuring the human rights enshrined in our Constitution.
In this process, the focus is on creating ample opportunities for our citizens to exercise their rights. The Law «On Appeals of Individuals and Corporate Entities» was adopted in accordance with which the methods of circulation convenient for the population were introduced - through «hotlines», mobile and videoconferencing.
In order to ensure the rights of citizens, enshrined in the Constitution, to apply to state bodies and institutions, the procedure for receiving applications in meetings with the population was introduced to people's representatives. Today, not citizens, but officials go to the people. This is a great positive result.
Many leaders think that all this is temporary, work for one year. Let them learn well - the bridges are already burnt. Now we will not go back.
This year, the leaders of judicial, law enforcement and supervisory bodies, as well as commercial banks in many regions of our country held exit receptions on issues related to fighting and preventing corruption, which were attended by 43,127 citizens.
At these events 22,186 appeals were received from citizens regarding the allocation of loans, decisions of law enforcement and judicial bodies, employment and payment of wages, entrepreneurship, electricity and gas, health and other issues. On 6,484 appeals decisions were made on the spot, 15,702 appeals were submitted to the appropriate authorities for consideration. On 94 cases, official checks were appointed; responsibility of the guilty persons was established.
Previously, the heads of the General Prosecutor's Office, courts and other bodies did not find time to visit the regions; they were considering cases while sitting in Tashkent. Therefore, they broke away from life, troubling people's problems.
In this regard, I would like to note that another important document was adopted: the new Law «On the dissemination of legal information and access to it», which opens up wider opportunities for acquaintance with documents relating to the rights and interests of citizens and other materials. From now on, citizens are guaranteed to receive legal information from any state bodies, other organizations and officials without any restrictions.
What is the purpose of introducing this order? A person comes for any document, but the official even the lowest level dares to refuse him: they say, the authorities do not allow. Now such «games» will not pass. From now on all the leaders - from the President to the lowest level - will serve our people.
In order to implement the norms «Everyone has the right to property» and «Private property, along with other forms of property, inviolable and protected by the state», established in our Constitution, a new institution of the Commissioner under the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for protecting the rights and legitimate interests of business entities was established.
The activity of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Oliy Majlis of the Republic of Uzbekistan has also been improved. His powers in exercising control in penal institutions were expanded.
One of the important social issues is the provision of people, who by delusion found themselves on a criminal path or who sincerely repented of their deed, the opportunity to return to society, to their family. After all, these people are also citizens of Uzbekistan. On the eve of today's historic date, I, using my constitutional authority as President, signed a decree on pardoning 2,700 persons convicted by a court decision, the head of state said. In the history of Uzbekistan, this decree was adopted for the first time.
Here I want to clarify one point. It's no secret that people who are far from the legal sphere do not understand the difference between amnesty and pardon. We are all well aware that up to now, acts of amnesty have been adopted in our country every year. The essence of the amnesty is that the category of crimes to which amnesty is applied is first defined, and then the persons falling under this category are determined.
Of course, amnesty is one of the important mechanisms for pardoning people who have committed a crime. However, as analysis shows, the definition of exemption from liability without a preliminary in-depth study was the reason that sometimes people who did not repent of the deed did not completely repay the damage caused by the amnesty. Unfortunately, there were also cases of corruption in this issue. Such intolerable phenomena were allowed both in the bodies of the Prosecutor's Office, the Ministry of Internal Affairs, and the courts.
All of it led to the fact that the amnesty did not realize the inevitability of punishment; they formed a false sense of permissiveness. In addition, under the amnesty, the opinion of the affected party and the public was not taken into account, which was the reason for the people's just dissatisfaction. There have been cases of repeated commission of a crime by persons released under an amnesty.
Taking into account these circumstances, the special commission held individual interviews with each person serving a sentence, the opinion of the residents of the mahalla where he lived and the affected party was studied. The degree of gravity of the crime committed and the justice of the punishment imposed by the court are taken into account. As a result of in-depth analysis and study of all the facts, a specific circle of convicts who committed crimes by ignorance, sincerely repented of their actions, firmly adhering to the path of correction, was determined and such persons were pardoned.
I was ready to pardon more people, but our society is not ready for this, Shavkat Mirziyoyev said. To this end, the corresponding atmosphere and awareness of the responsibility for the guarantee must be fully established in our society.
In order to strictly comply with the prohibition of forced labor, enshrined in Article 37 of our Constitution, a certain work was carried out during the year. In particular, effective parliamentary and public control in this sphere has been established. A parliamentary commission has been set up to ensure the labor rights of citizens. Deputies and senators in the working groups go to all regions of the republic, exercise parliamentary control in order to prevent child and forced labor.
This year, as you know, we strictly prohibited the export of students and employees of budgetary organizations to compulsory collection of cotton. During the cotton season, the International Labor Organization established systematic monitoring to prevent child and forced labor.
As a result of the fact that we took this important issue under our strict control, there was not a single negative case. The work is being recognized by international organizations, the general public as a whole. Our efforts to ensure human rights are fully in tune with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
It should be noted that our Constitution reflects the basic principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the 70th anniversary of which will be widely celebrated around the world in 2018. We will also adopt a special state program to fully propagate the essence and significance of this first universal international human rights document. We take the initiative to host in November 2018 in Samarkand the Asian International Human Rights Forum as the final event of our targeted practical work.
In order to prevent crime, new programs and plans are being implemented; in particular, information and communication technologies are widely introduced. In the mahallas, on the streets, enterprises of trade and services, more than
114 thousand CCTV cameras are installed. With their help, about 10 thousand crimes were discovered. This year, relative to 2016, the crime rate decreased by 14%, which indicates the importance of such work.
Starting from the new year, the preventive inspector, in the mahalla where no crime is committed, will receive a 50 per cent bonus to the monthly wage. Conversely, from the wages of inspectors for prevention, who commit crimes in the territory entrusted to them, 50% will be retained. You cannot come from afar and work as a preventive inspector. Therefore, we pay special attention to the provision of their housing, office machines.
If we briefly outline our goal in this area, in the future we must create a truly popular system of internal affairs bodies that enjoys the deserved trust and respect of the people and the country.
In the framework of the work done in this direction, it is necessary to emphasize the creation of a unified system for combating corruption.
The adoption of the Law «On Combating Corruption» made it possible to unite the efforts and potential of state bodies and civil society institutions in the fight against this vice.
As is known, in the Basic Law it is determined that «the State expresses the will of the people, serves its interests.» In order to ensure the implementation of this norm, the Concept of Administrative Reform was adopted. In accordance with it 6 priority directions of radical reforming of the system of public administration are defined, on the basis of a special «road map» activity of 100 bodies of executive power is envisaged.
The main objective of administrative reforms is to create a compact and professional system of executive bodies, which uses modern management methods. The results of the current reforms are directly dependent on the expansion of the ranks of young cadres with high spirituality, able to independently think, able to take responsibility for the destiny and the future of the Motherland.
To this end, another important document was adopted - the Decree «On measures to improve the effectiveness of state youth policy and support the activities of the Union of Youth of Uzbekistan.»
When it comes to this, it should be emphasized that more than 60% of the population of Uzbekistan is young people under the age of 30. You are well aware of the large-scale work being carried out in the country to create all the necessary conditions for the young generation, from ensuring a healthy birth to supporting you in entering an independent life.
It's no secret that the system of preschool education, which is the main link in the education of our children, does not meet the requirements of the time, as a result of insufficient attention to the development of the sphere, many problems have accumulated here. I think that today there is no need to prove to someone the advantages of upbringing in kindergarten.
In view of these circumstances, in September this year, the Ministry of Pre-School Education was established, which was assigned a number of important tasks based on the priorities of the ongoing administrative reforms.
In accordance with the adopted target program, in the next 3-4 years in all regions of the country - be it large cities or remote villages and auls - we must build thousands of new pre-school educational institutions. It is necessary to equip them on the basis of modern requirements, provide qualified educators and specialists, new methods. Just imagine what new opportunities will emerge for women living in the countryside, when they can give their children to a kindergarten. The child grows in a kindergarten in a healthy lifestyle, preparing for school.
As is known, Article 53 of the Constitution of our country provides: «The state guarantees freedom of economic activity, entrepreneurship and labor, taking into account the priority of consumer rights, equal rights and legal protection of all forms of ownership.» As a practical confirmation of this rule, this year introduced a free conversion of the national currency - sum. The rate of customs payments has been reduced by 2 times, unscheduled and counter checks of business entities have been canceled. In order to ensure a decent standard of living for our people, first of all it is necessary to build a powerful economy and increase the country's competitiveness in the international arena.
Within the framework of the realization of the social rights of our citizens, enshrined in the Constitution, 24 thousand houses were built in rural areas on the basis of new standard projects, 187 modern multi-storey buildings in cities. For the centralized provision of the population with drinking water, 218 projects have been implemented; as a result, water supply for 350 thousand people has been improved.
About 800 family polyclinics and more than 400 ambulance stations have been established on the basis of rural medical stations. Ambulance services are provided by 1,260 special vehicles. More than 300 pre-school educational institutions have been repaired. We will give priority to the development of the healthcare system next year.
The focus of the state and society is the observance of the principle of social justice, the creation of people in need of help and support to people, especially those with limited physical capabilities, conditions for a full life.
Only this year, 2.6 trillion soums of pensions and benefits were paid to the disabled. Agreements have been signed on allocating houses for more than
1,200 low-income citizens in need of housing on a preferential basis; 22 billion soums have been allocated for primary payments. 972 women with disabilities with limited labor opportunities were provided with sewing machines for homework, and permanent sources of income were created. Citizens of this category on a gratuitous basis issued more 7,000 prosthetic and orthopedic aids, over 6,500 wheelchairs, and about 1,600 hearing aids. And there are many such examples.
Nevertheless, we still have a lot to do to fully support the layers of the population in need of social protection, to provide them with qualified medical and social assistance, to train in demanded professions and then to find a job. In this regard, the Commission for the preparation of proposals aimed at radically improving the system of state support for persons with disabilities was established, and the sphere was thoroughly studied. Taking into account the opinions expressed at the meetings with representatives of the public, the Decree «On measures for cardinal improvement of the state support system for persons with disabilities» was adopted. According to the decree, such privileges and opportunities were granted to such people.
Our goal is to ensure the real power of the people, not in words, but in deeds. This is the main requirement of the current difficult time in which we live. Therefore, we must organize our activities on the basis of the motto «Our great future begins today,» to direct all forces and opportunities to ensure the prosperous life of our people.
Speaking about this, I want to draw your attention to the following priority issues.
irst, in the daily activities of state bodies, the constitutional principle of the priority of human rights and freedoms must be ensured un uestioningly.
The task of studying and solving problems and cares of people must be carried out in practice, regularly going to places.
In this connection, I would like to note that the People's Reception Centers, organized in each district and city, have become an integral system for the practical solution of many pressing problems of people. For one year they have considered about 1.5 million appeals.
Naturally, as the standard of living of the population grows, the number of citizens' appeals will decrease with the solution of many problems on the ground.
Therefore, today the issue of organizing effective provision of public services through the People's Reception offices, with the merger of relevant functions of all state organizations and «One Window» centers under the Ministry of Justice, is being considered. It is envisaged that these issues will be directly handled by the Service for the Protection of Citizens' Rights, control and coordination of work with appeals of individuals and legal entities of the President's Office.
econd, we all must deeply understand the essence of the constitutional principle of democracy.
To do this, it is necessary to widely implement the accountability of executive bodies at all levels to people's representatives - the parliament and the local Kengashes of people's deputies. Mechanisms for parliamentary, representative and public control should be further developed. A prerequisite for the practical implementation of this principle is to ensure the transparency of government agencies.
Third, ensuring the implementation of constitutional norms in the field of protecting the health of citizens, which is our greatest wealth, should become a priority direction of state policy.
Our primary task remains to improve the system of qualified medical care, increase to the modern level of disease prevention, the effectiveness of the services of patronage and screening, the system of providing the population with affordable and high-quality medicines. We will also seriously work to popularize a healthy lifestyle, the growth of medical culture in society.
ourth, our activities should be aimed at securing the most important constitutional norm - social justice.
Social justice is the provision of equality before the law for all citizens, regardless of their political views, gender, nationality, language and religious beliefs. This is equality of opportunities in education, medicine and other spheres. This is a guarantee and freedom of work, equal opportunities for career growth. Most importantly, it is the care of representatives of the older generation and citizens in need of social protection.
ifth, ensuring the constitutional rights of citizens to freedom of thought, speech and conviction is a key condition for building a developed democratic state and a strong civil society.
Today, in the process of democratic reforms, we must ensure the full realization of the potential of citizens seeking to take direct and active part in the political and public life of the country. An important role in this is played by the development of a multi-party system, inter-party discussions, competition of opinions and programs.
The mass media are called upon to become an effective tool for bringing the needs of the population to the authorities, the closest aide to the people, a mirror of democracy. The main direction of their activities should be a critical and objective assessment of the work of government bodies and management, identifying and highlighting shortcomings, topical problems in various fields.
i th, another important task for us is the consistent implementation of the principle of mutual responsibility of citizens, the state and society, the connection of their rights and obligations.
This principle serves as the basis for effective interaction of the state and the individual, the state and civil society in the solution of important tasks facing our country.
We must strengthen the ongoing work to strengthen the atmosphere of friendship and harmony prevailing in our society, respect and mutual understanding between representatives of different nations and nationalities living in the country.
eventh, ensuring in practice the freedom of entrepreneurial activity, the inviolability of private property will continue to be a priority direction of state policy.
Without exaggeration, we can say that the consistent implementation of this constitutional norm will determine the essence and content of all the measures we take to accelerate the development of a socially-oriented market economy.
I want to emphasize once again: obstruction of the activities of entrepreneurs will be perceived as contradicting state policy.
ighth, we must ensure the unconditional fulfillment of the constitutional norm that the epublic of Uzbekistan guarantees legal protection to its citizens both on the territory of the country and abroad.
Unfortunately, now we have not paid enough attention to protecting the rights of our citizens working abroad. Today our compatriots are engaged abroad not only with unskilled labor, but with science, they work in the banking and financial system, in the field of information and communication technologies.
Given this, today our attitude towards the citizens of the republic, working and receiving education in other countries on legal grounds, is radically changing. The Government of Uzbekistan will comprehensively protect the rights and interests of citizens of our country, wherever they may be. We have already taken the first steps in this direction. An agreement has been reached with Russia on labor migration. Special delegations from Uzbekistan travel abroad and meet with our compatriots. Together with local government bodies, the necessary measures are taken to improve the conditions of their work and residence, and ensure the rights.
We consider the most important factor in achieving the lofty goals we are facing, the consistent continuation of close cooperation with the world community. We will continue to strengthen constructive, mutually beneficial relations with all countries of the far and near abroad, first of all with neighboring countries.
As the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan and the guarantor of the Constitution, I consider it my sacred duty to ensure the rule of law in our society, the protection of the rights and freedoms of every citizen.
Years, centuries will pass, but our Constitution will undoubtedly remain the main law of life for new generations, a solid foundation in solving the problems that time will put before them.
The grand meeting ended with a large concert program dedicated to the ongoing reforms in the country, the great changes that are taking place in our life.